Tags: Afghanistan | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Pakistan | Leader | ISIS | TTP

Pakistan's Leader Wants ISIS to Succeed

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Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 03:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With world attention riveted on U.S. and friendly Arab airstrikes against ISIS bases in Syria, Pakistan, one of the world’s eight nuclear powers, was yet again a bubbling geopolitical cauldron.
 
The Pakistani army has ruled Pakistan for half of its independent existence since 1947. It has, in effect, taken over again to block Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who would like to bring TTP, Pakistan’s Taliban, into some form of coalition government.
 
Nawaz, as he is known (Sharif is as common as Smith in the Anglo-Saxon world), harbors a visceral dislike (some call it hatred) for the United States.
 
TTP is a jihadi organization, in league with Afghanistan’s Taliban underground, and is responsible for some 35,000 deaths in terrorist attacks in recent years.
 
TTP is also backing ISIS and some of its terrorists have already made their way to Iraq and Syria to fight “the enemies of Islam.”
 
In a recent four-hour session, Pakistan’s top Corps commanders decided to give Nawaz one more chance to end political and economic chaos. If he fails, which is widely expected, the army will respond to what public opinion clearly favors, and take over the reins of power — for the fifth time since independence in 1947.
 
“Meanwhile,” reports longtime observer and scholar of the Pakistani scene Ammar Turabi, “the army is going to crush the remains of TTP and al-Qaida with still more dedication and zeal.”
 
The army knows that Nawaz is not about to give up his old ambition to be Amirul Mominin, or Amir of the entire Muslim Caliphate,’’ adds Turabi, “armed with the nuclear power which only Pakistan possesses in the entire Muslim world.
 
The only problem with Nawaz’s ambitions is that Pakistan’s nukes are under army control. And the generals are now biding their time to see where Nawaz goes with his suspected sympathies for ISIS, openly praised by TTP.
 
Round the clock protests for six weeks in the forbidden zone around parliament and the presidency, organized by Imran Khan, the former cricket star turned political leader, and unknown cleric Qadri, have kept Pakistani politics at a boil.
 
A sampling of opinion among the demonstrators, Turabi says, “shows overwhelming support for Nawaz’s political exit and an army takeover.”
 
Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muaweya appears to have seen the writing on the wall of public opinion. He announced his group was renouncing violence and urged his followers to continue fighting for Taliban in Afghanistan.
 
In Turabi’s opinion, “This decision was motivated by Nawaz trying to buy time against any further military action against Punjabi-based terrorists.”
 
Contrary to Nawaz’s thinking, Pakistan’s generals and many political leaders do not want the Afghan Taliban as the sole power in Afghanistan after the bulk of U.S. forces leave at the end of this year.
 
A Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, they say, would revive the old Afghan plan for Pushtunistan, or a merger of the Pushtun of Pakistan and Afghanistan — under the banner of jihad, bolstered by the growing appeal of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
 
Unlike Nawaz, the army and public opinion are firmly opposed to Taliban achieving complete power after the U.S. withdrawal. Instead, they favor an Afghan peace settlement based on power sharing between the Taliban and the non-Pushtun ethnic groups of Afghanistan.
 
What Pakistanis favor for the future of Afghanistan may not swing much weight in a new era of religious terrorists.
 
Pakistan’s madrassas, where hundreds of thousands of 8- to 16-year-olds are brainwashed to believe that Taliban-ISIS-religious extremists are the wave of the future, will have more of an impact than today’s middle classes.
 
Pakistan’s generals know that Afghanistan’s post-2014 survival depends on continued western foreign aid. Almost 90 percent of the Afghan national army’s budget this year comes from the U.S. and, to a much smaller extent, from other foreign donors. Without this aid, the Afghan state would collapse, as South Vietnam in did in the mid-1970s when Congress suddenly cut off any further assistance to the anti-Communist army in Saigon.
 
With a new costly air war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the prospect for open-ended military assistance to Afghanistan is not looking good.
 
Without such aid, says Turabi, “Afghanistan faces the prospect of no state at all — opening more blind alleys of ethnic violence and anarchy, demolishing a frail and lawless Afghanistan for which the United States has fought, bled, and spent for 13 years the costliest war in its history.”
 
Noted editor and journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave is an editor at large for United Press International. He is a founding board member of Newsmax.com who now serves on Newsmax's Advisory Board. Read more reports from Arnaud de Borchgrave — Click Here Now.
 
 

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All the way east to nuclear Pakistan, he impact of ISIS is being felt.
Pakistan, Leader, ISIS, TTP
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2014-16-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 03:16 PM
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